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A celebration of Origin: One Punch laws in New South Wales and Queensland

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June 14, 2016

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As Australia’s largest specialist criminal and traffic law firm, with offices in 4 of the 8 States and Territories, Armstrong Legal are regularly called upon to advise clients on the cross-border effect and implications of particular laws.  In contemplation of the 2016 State of Origin series, a number of articles on this blog will examine some of the legal commonalities, and conflicts, which exist specifically between the two great Origin States: New South Wales and Queensland. This first article will explore the laws in each State which create a specific category […]


Theft from employer

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June 9, 2016

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Matters of theft and fraud from a person’s workplace are treated very seriously by the courts, as a recent ACT Supreme Court case shows. The recent judgment by Justice Burns involved a person who admitted taking more than $1.4 million in eight separate transactions over a 15-month period. As the employer was a Federal Government agency, the eight charges of theft were brought under the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Each carried a maximum prison term of 10 years. There are many related charges, under Commonwealth, and state and territory law, to cover […]


New Bicycle Laws

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June 6, 2016

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On 1 March 2016 the NSW government brought in new laws that effect both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers. Under rule 144-1 and 144-2 of the Road Rules 2014, drivers must now leave a one metre gap when passing a cyclist at 60 km/h. When a car is driving 60 km/h or more they must leave a one and a half metre gap when passing a cyclist. If these laws are not obeyed then they will be receiving a $319 fine as well as two demerit points. However, the government have […]


Immigration and Criminal law

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May 31, 2016

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There has recently been a renewed focus on the Visa status of people who have committed serious criminal offences. Depending upon the kind of visa that you have, authorities have long had the ability to cancel the visa if you commit serious criminal offences or are subject to serious criminal penalties. This is alongside the general authority to not grant visas to people with significant criminal records. This has been a fraught issue. Many people live in Australia for long periods of time, often for decades, whilst remaining citizens of other […]


Changes to the Animal Welfare Act

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May 27, 2016

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Canberrans face prosecution if they fail to look after their pets in a revamp of the law to start from July 1.The new legislation makes it an offence to breach a duty of care to one's pet, where previously cruelty had to be proved. In March 2016, Minister for Transport and Municipal Services, Meegan Fitzharris, introduced the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2016 (‘the bill’) to the ACT Legislative Assembly. When introducing the bill, Minister Fitzharris stated changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (‘the Act’) have been created “in order to […]


New ACT fire ban penalties

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May 25, 2016

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The ACT Government is looking to provide a maximum two-year prison sentence for people found guilty of lighting fires during total fire bans. Previously, the offence was a fine-only provision with the maximum penalty capped at $7500. But now, not only will offenders be liable for up to two years’ prison but they can face a fine of up to $30,000 as well. That’s four times the current maximum. The proposed changes, introduced into the Legislative Assembly in late autumn, are expected to come into effect before the next fire season. […]


The decision of R v Ahmed [2008] NSWDC 380

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May 19, 2016

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The decision of R v Ahmed [2008] NSWDC 380 – why it is relevant to drive while suspended and disqualified charges, whether pending or finalised: The facts: Ms Ahmed had been suspended for the accumulation of demerit points. She continued to drive and was charged with two counts of Driving While Suspended. Her suspension concluded and subsequently she appeared at Local Court on 5 February 2008 in respect of both offences. The legislation The Road Transport Legislation relevantly provided that a person who commits the offence of driving while suspended or […]


New Protest Laws

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May 11, 2016

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The right to protest and the boundaries placed on the ability to protest have long been a contentious part of the criminal law. The issue has flared again after recent protests in NSW over various mining initiatives, with the state government acting to amend the Inclosed Lands Protection Act, the Crimes Act and the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act to tighten up just what protesters can and can’t do. The Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts says the changes “create a workable model that ensures that the ongoing protection […]


Drink Driving Acts with Kids in the Car

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May 8, 2016

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In recent years the NSW Local Courts have had a particular focus on people who commit Drink Driving acts with children in their car. The entire judicial system has long frowned on people who put not only their own lives at risk, but also the lives of their children, by driving a vehicle with alcohol in their system and children in the backseat. In 2011 the law was amended so that the courts were compelled to regard having children in your car as an aggravating feature while you drove drunk. This […]


Domestic violence: Is it on the rise?

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May 6, 2016

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Domestic violence is undoubtedly one of the most publicised areas of crime in Australia, particularly in Canberra since the death of Tara Costigan at the hands of her partner. The issue is at the forefront of the minds of legislators and the Courts in the Australian Capital Territory. Recently the former federal Labor leader Mark Latham claimed domestic violence was actually decreasing since 2007. But do the figures add up? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there was a peak in domestic violence-related homicides in Australia in 2007, and […]

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